2018: Year that proved even biggest stars are beatable

Written by: Chetna Patnaik, Kalinga TV

Bhubaneswar: The Year 2018 witnessed a number of hits and misses in Bollywood. Yet, the big news is that even superstars couldn’t help out to make a mark with their big budget movies. Superstars like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amir Khan, and Big B Amitabh Bachchan failed. They religiously put their effort and garnered admiration for their acting aptitude but still, the films saw failure. One of the biggest reasons for thee may be the plot. Somehow, this has been proved that a weak plot can’t contribute much to the success of a film despite the presence of big stars.

The epicenter of the problem lies at the plot. The is that these superstars have been doing what they have been doing all these years; what helped them achieve their superstardom. This formula has been working all these years. The stars’ films getting flopped has happened in the recent years. However, they have stopped trying to reinvent themselves. Not just that, but the filmmakers are also hoping that their films will work just on the basis of the presence of the superstars in the films.

No matter how big the starcast or VFX (in case of Thugs of Hindostan), without presence of a strong storyline audience is rejecting movies.

Loss of invincibility

Looking back, 2018 will be remembered as the year that managed the impossible: to show that the three biggest Khans — Salman, Aamir, Shah Rukh — are not invincible.

The Khan who effortlessly manages the biggest numbers, Salman, showed up in Race 3, the third installment of a franchise featuring bad guys and gals, doing exactly what he has done before. The film did but was trashed by critics everywhere. Salman’s only real solo outing in 2017, Tubelight, was so awful that even his fans had nothing good to say.

Film-wise, Aamir had a terrible 2018. The lavish Yashraj production Thugs Of Hindostan, in which he co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan, was blown away not just by carping critics, but by viewers who could not believe something quite so ghastly could have come out of the country’s biggest actors-and-studio combine.

And we are still reeling from the effect of outrageous Zero by Shahrukh. For the last three years or so, SRK has been looking to reinvent, but the trouble with super-stardom is that it is buoyed by fans that get skittish when faced with true difference.

It is important to note here that all of these films had a multi-star presence. And they still flopped.

Content is the real hero

Trials and tribulations of a female spy in Raazi couldn’t have been any more invigorating for the audience. The movie had a very strong cast, but the movie worked because of the strong plotline. The Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal starrer was a winner in all manners; music included.

Four girlfriends meeting each other after a long time and finding themselves all over again amongst their personal problems was something looked so surreal. Even though Veere Di Weeding had big names like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsani in major roles, the real star of the movie was the plot.

Awkwardness felt by a 30-something guy on finding his middle-aged mother pregnant was something we could all relate with in Badhai Ho Badhai. And the real charms of the movie were the parents Neena Gupta and Gajraj Singh and a magnificent Surekha Sikri as the grandmother; and not Ayushman Khurana. Star in the movie was the quirky storyline.

Another brilliant movie of the year was Stree that based on an age-old myth where a little town is haunted by a ravening spirit. Men fear of going out alone because all the spirit leaves is their clothes. The film lathered up heavily on sarcasm and sent the message across. The film had a strong starcast of Rajkumar Rao, Pankaj Tripathy, Shradha Kapoor, Aparshakti Khurana and others.

A brilliant pianist pretending to be blind and getting embroiled in a murder plot caught everybody’s attention in movie Andhadhun. The movie had big names in the likes of Ayushman Khurana, Tabu, Radhika Apte and Anil Dhawan in major roles. Still what caught audiences’ attention were the murder plot and a pretend-blind not being able to reveal what he witnessed.

That the dying can give the living a purpose is beautifully rendered in October. In the film, Varun Dhawan and debutant Banita Sandhu captured our attentions and touched our hearts’ strings.

Way forward

Here are a few post-crystal-ball-gazing predictions, in no particular order: the big-budget tentpoles are not vanishing anytime soon, because both set-in-their-ways Bollywood and audiences will continue to the after these. But even these top-heavy spectacles will be more plot-driven, because that’s the only way forward.

Also Read: Best Of 2018: Hindi Movie Songs

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